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The Importance of the Truman Doctrine and the Marshall Plan in the Development of the Cold War

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Introduction

x20-11-12 | Rosa Mulloy Assess the importance of the Truman Doctrine and Mashall Plan to the development of the Cold War. The introduction of the Truman Doctrine and the Marshall Plan were an important turning point in the path of the Cold War. It made a smooth solution to Stalin and Truman's aversions towards each other impossible, as the two powers could no longer compromise. The Soviets refused to take the Marshall Aid, a relief to the Americans, because they thought it was an attempt to make Europe dependent on the Dollar and in this way expand their empire. In response to this they created their own solution to the economic problems by introducing cominform to Russia and all of its satellite states. This created an economic divide between the Eastern and the Western European states, between Communist controlled and Capitalist countries and it represented the physical division of the iron curtain Churchill had described in his 1946 speech. This 'real', geographical divide between the two powers was also something that was encouraged by the public. ...read more.

Middle

But containment of the Russian ideology was obviously something somehow offensive to Stalin as he thought the American ideology was the harmful one, and he thought that Truman was only acting in self-interest because of the benefits they were gaining from the situation. An equally important cause in the development of the Cold War was the clash of ideologies between the two major powers, which made the Cold War inevitable when their common goal was lost. America and Russia emerged as super powers from the Second World War and their shared conviction that their beliefs and policies where the 'right' ones, that would prosper and help the world, were a reason they did not harmonize. Their beliefs were reduced to expansionism, and neither of the powers would give up their position in the world. Ideology was a very important cause in the Cold War and was such a big issue that it continued throughout it. It was furthered by the belief of having an 'enemy', binding the members of each group into one belief and making the antipathy greater. ...read more.

Conclusion

But that was not enough they kept searching for weapons that could give them an advantage and a few years later they developed the hydrogen bomb which assured mutual destruction if there was to be a war. The arms race made the idea of an enemy and a heating up of the situation more imminent, which alienated the other state even more. The Truman Doctrine and the Marshall Plan played a great role in the further development of the Cold War, but it was not the most important. At least as important was the clashing of ideologies and what it brought with it. The arms race and territorial conflicts were also part of the development. All in all, the Truman Doctrine and the Marshall Plan where a force propelling the two states apart and setting them on opposite sides of the scale. It was a very important factor in the carrying on of the conflict as it furthered the inability to compromise of the two states. It's importance in the development of the Cold War was only rivaled by the ideological clash between the two states. It lead them from simple mistrust to hatered and loathing. ...read more.

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